Last week, we noted that the East River Park rehabilitation project appears certain to miss another deadline. On the Parks Department web site, an advisory still points towards a “fall 2011″ reopening of the promenade, which has now been closed for a decade. We also noticed a barge owned by the city’s beleaguered contractor, Pile Foundation Construction Company, had disappeared.
A reader left a comment saying the company had “gone into receivership” and that the new company “has to go through 10 city agencies when they need supplies.” We contacted the Parks Department press office for an update. According to a spokesman, Pile Foundation, which has been fined by state regulators on numerous occasions, has finished its part of the East River project.
From time to time, we like to check in on the terminally stalled East River Park reconstruction project. Recently, the Pile Foundation barge that had been anchored in the river, just south of the Williamsburg Bridge, disappeared.
Mayor Bloomberg and local elected representatives opened the new stretch of waterfront park this afternoon.
The first section of the new East River Waterfront Esplanade opened this afternoon between Wall Street and Maiden Lane, offering downtown Manhattan residents a preview of a $165 million, 4-year-long project that eventually will transform two miles of shoreline into public recreational space.
“The new East River Waterfront Esplanade is the newest jewel on New York City’s magnificent harbor,” Bloomberg said in a prepared statement. “One of the goals of the waterfront plan we unveiled earlier this year is to reconnect New Yorkers to New York City’s more than 500 miles of waterfront and make it part of their everyday lives, and the new esplanade will help do that for Lower Manhattan’s tens of thousands of residents, 300,000-plus workers and millions of visitors.”
Sometimes a walk down memory lane is enjoyable. In this case, not so much:
-Oct. 19, 2010, WNYC’s Matthew Schuerman reported that the terminally stalled East River reconstruction project would be finished by July 2011.
-Jan. 13, 2011, The Villager added new details: “Structural renovations to the park, which began in mid-2005, are slated for completion by early spring, according to John Natoli, chief engineer of the city’s Parks Department. Workers are now finishing the final 600 feet of the new, 6,600-foot riverfront walkway, the key component of the construction project. Joggers, walkers and skateboarders will soon have use of the esplanade’s full length. The project’s landscaping will be completed by early summer, in time for the park’s peak-usage summer months.”
A glimpse of the never-ending East River Promenade construction project.
Another nice day ahead! Partly cloudy skies with a high of 69.
A Lo-Down tipster sent us this photo of an East River Promenade bridge, getting some attention today.
Looking north from Grand Street
A new haven awaits pedestrians, picnickers, cyclists and sunbathers this Fourth of July weekend along the East River, where the new and improved riverfront promenade is (finally!) open for business all the way south to Grand Street.
A group takes an informal Tai Chi class next to the running track at East River Park. Nearby, construction continues on the East River Prominade.